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Headphone Gurus' 2019 picks for Sports Earphones on a Budget

by Praveen Kamath June 24, 2019 5 min read

Headphone Gurus' 2019 picks for Sports Earphones on a Budget

It goes without saying that the right music can push a gym session from yay to yeehaw, which makes headphones one of your workout essentials. And when choosing headphones for your most vigorous workouts (be it the daily treadmill, bicycling or weights) sweat-proof is the way to go—you want a pair that won't slip out or become super slippery when things are heating up (when you work out, that is)!

These days, headphones associated with fitness or workouts are primarily wireless, meaning there aren't any wires other than the ones that conjoin the earpieces and your smartphone or music player. The lack of wires frees up your range of motion. Truly wireless buds eliminate that as well. But then again, there is a downside of true wireless, which make them limiting to use as full-time buds. The battery life is invariably short but it’s long enough for gym and running purposes.

What should you be looking for?

Sound Quality:

The sound signature of every device is typically mentioned among those small icons on the collection page. Pick the earphones that give you your desired sound signature.

Sound Signatures in a nutshell.

  • Extra Bass: Bass is pumped-up a lot. Mostly tends to overpower the other frequencies.
  • Warm & Smooth: A slight boost in the bass. Other frequencies can easily be heard.
  • Bright: The opposite of warm & smooth. Here, the treble is slightly boosted.
  • V-Shaped: Both the treble and bass are boosted while the mids are reduced. Balanced: No one frequency is boosted.
  • Compatibility:Apple, Android or both? It shouldn’t matter as much. A wireless in-ears tends to deliver universal compatibility.

The design is important not only in terms of looks but also durability and usability. Features like minimal flat cables, a neckband or no-neckband fit and metal housings and accessible microphone signify good built and design.

It is nice to feel secure about your belongings. When you are investing in a good sports earphone, expect a good after-sales service. Longer the warranty period, more durable the product (or service you can expect). Only original products come with warranty, sobeware of fakes! All products sold on our website carry a manufacturer's warranty and you can read more about warrantyhere.

Sweat resistance:
If you need a workout buddy, you do have a few options. Look for a device that provides IPX-rated sweat resistance as well as a good fit.

Battery life:
A battery life that would last you for a day would be an ideal pick, won't it? 

Without further ado, here's he Headphone Guru's Handbook to choosing the perfect earphones for Sports and Workouts when on a budget.



Let's start with what our Headphone Gurus' consider the best at this price point...

RHA MA390 Wireless

The Outstanding One

The Guru Says

"The same high-quality build and clear, detailed sound in a wireless form, makes the MA390 Wireless one of the best in this category."

- Varun Soni

The RHA MA390 Wireless offers affordability, awe-inspiring build, and a 3 year manufacturer's warranty which is one of the highest at this price point. Be it your usual workouts or that morning jog we think the RHA MA390 Wireless are your go-to pair. They utilize a neckband design, offer great wireless connectivity with next to no dropouts (God bless aptX!) and, most importantly, they produce high-quality audio for 8-hours in one charge.

Designed in Scotland, the RHA MA390 Wireless is beautifully built with its all-aluminium housing and enclosed design. The 6063-grade aluminum which is RHA's equivalent for fancy aluminum feels much more premium than the price tag suggests.

The Good

Premium build quality with a flexi-neckband fit
A Universally-compatible 3-Button Remote and Mic
A warm sound quality delivering some punchy bass
Qualcomm aptX-enabled
3-year manufacturer warranty

The Bad

IPX4 rating is standard, however IPX6 would've been better (Scroll back up for the low-down on IP-ratings)
The treble may seem a little sibilant at times




 Our other sporty picks are:

Urbanista - Boston

The Hot Stuff
Urbanista - Boston

What makes you different is what makes you stand out! A minimalist but stylish design, the Urbanista Boston has a earbud fit when paired with the right earfins and makes it ideal for workouts. A 6-hours battery life is just about enough for a day's workout. A breezy look and a ergonomic fit make it a great pick.

The Good

Fine tuned drivers for detailed sound coupled with a rich bass response
A much more relaxed fitting due to earbuds
Ear-fins ensure better ergonomics 

The Bad

The isolation isn't great when compared to an in-ear fit
A 6-hour battery life could be disappointing to some
Check it out


1MORE iBFree Sport

The Paisa Vasool

The 1MORE iBFree Sport is an absolute budget killer. As the name suggests, it is purely designed for Sports and carries an IPX6 rating making it a favourite for workouts. The bass is tight and controlled, and does not overpower the other frequencies given it has a slightly V-shaped sound.

The Good

A V-shaped sound with a good bass output
Great design and ergonomics
Brawny build and highly portable

The Bad

The microphone quality could've been better
The treble may seem harsh at times




The Bass Beast

The Sony MDR-XB50BS is affordably priced, sweat-resistant, battery life is good at 8.5 hours and the headphone has strong bass performance. Audio purists might not like this sound signature, but those seeking thump in their music would love these. EDM & trance fans should check this out: It is a bound to create a party in your head as it more suited for party, house, and electronic music.

The Good

Extra Bass sound to boost your workouts
Flat tangle-free cables with minimal design
Multiple pairs of eartips to get an ergonomic fit

The Bad

The design is not that of a traditional in-ear and could come off as  bulky to some
The fit maybe uncomfortable for some



Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 incorporates the best of the previous iterations and brings in a few more modifications with more pronounced bass and clearer mids. An IPX5 rating and 6 hour battery life make it a great pick for sports!

The Good

A non-fatiguing listening session and superior isolation
One button remote for multifunction

The Bad

No volume controls
Lack of punchy bass



So there you have it — Our picks for the best entry-level sports earphones. If you want to check out more or would like to talk to a Headphone Guru, just hit the button below:

Praveen Kamath
Praveen Kamath

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